The Oxford 175 Express

  • West Midlands to Oxford for Oxford 175th Anniversary

  • Standard class with breakfast and afternoon tea options

  • Over 8 hours in Oxford, time to sample the events on stations along the line to Didcot


Oxford 175 Luncheon Circular

  • Special circular route from Oxford via Didcot, the GW mainline, Southall and the Chiltern hills through High Wycombe

  • Full 4-course luncheon and VT’s new Gourmet picnic hamper option


The Didcot to Oxford branch line of the Great Western Railway opened in June 1844. On Saturday 15th June 2019, stations along the line between Oxford and Didcot will be celebrating the line’s 175th anniversary.


Vintage Trains is joining the party with a very special contribution to the anniversary celebrations, running a railtour from the West Midlands to Oxford and separately offering the Oxford 175 Luncheon Circular railtour from Oxford Parkway & Oxford.


This will be a very fitting visit of VT flagship locomotive, 7029 'Clun Castle'. The locomotive will take the train alone on the 175 Circular, diesel will trail on the 175 express for operational reasons.


The Oxford 175 Express

The Oxford 175 Express will depart Solihull for Oxford via Banbury, picking up along the way at Dorridge, Warwick Parkway and Banbury stations.


This train offers Standard Class accommodation with option to purchase, in advance, Bacon Rolls for the morning journey to Oxford and an Afternoon Tea hamper on the return. Tickets are priced at £60 return with a provisional 07.00 start from Solihull and 18.00 return from Oxford. Travellers will have over 8 hours either in the City of Oxford or, with the help of Great Western trains, join in the celebrations along the line or visit the Great Western Society at Didcot.


Oxford 175 Luncheon Circular

As a very special contribution to the 175th anniversary celebrations, the Oxford 175 Luncheon Circular railtour will depart from Oxford Parkway and pick up at Oxford, then travelling to Didcot over the celebratory Oxford branch, passing through Radley, Culham, Appleford & Didcot.


7029 will then sprint along Brunel’s billiard table that is the Great Western mainline, passing through Reading, Slough and Southall.


Shortly after Southall, taking the Greenford loop we link up with the Chiltern and ex Great Western mainlines north. In days past, this was the route taken by the Paddington to Wolverhampton expresses, routinely hauled by Kings and our own Clun Castle.


The train passes through the picturesque Chiltern Hills, through High Wycombe, the challenging climb up Saunderton bank, then Princess Risborough towards Bicester. Just short of Bicester North, the train takes the newly installed curve, through Bicester Town and Islip, completing the circular railtour back to Oxford Parkway and Oxford.


The following travel choices are available:


  • Premier Dining at £200 per person including a 4-course luncheon, silver-served at the table. Seating is offered at tables of 4, or for a supplement of £20 per person, tables for 2.

  • 1st Class travel at £165 per person includes a gourmet picnic hamper, loaded with delicious goodies.  Seating is offered at tables of 4, or for a supplement of £20 per person, tables for 2.

  • Standard Class tickets are £85 per person with the option to pre-purchase a gourmet picnic hamper for £25 per person. Seating is at tables of 4 only in standard class.

  • A buffet car selling tea/coffee, snacks, wine and beers will be available throughout the journey.


    Provisional timings are:

    Depart Oxford Parkway 12.00

    Return Oxford 16.00


    Full details with booking information are available at


    For more information on Oxford 175 including opportunities to visit 175 events along the line are available at